Gambling Has Become a Bigger Focus for Las Vegas Visitors

  • Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority publishes an annual report on visitor trends
  • More people said the main reason for their trip in 2019 was gambling than in the past five years
  • The average time spent gambling doubled in 2019; the average gambling budget also rose
Person filling out a survey
The annual LVCVA report shows that people visited Las Vegas primarily for gambling more in 2019 than they had in five years. [Image:]

Getting back to basics

A new study by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s (LVCVA) shows that visitors are more likely to go to Sin City for gambling than for non-gambling attractions.

four out of five people had gambled at some point while in the city

The Visitor Profile report for 2019 showed that tourists to Las Vegas were most likely to say their main reason for the trip was gambling. Of the people surveyed, four out of five people had gambled at some point while in the city, the highest rate of gambling in the last five years. 

According to LVCVA director of research Kevin Bagger: “The percentage that said they gambled has hovered around 70 to 74 percent. In 2019, it bumped up to 81 percent.”

Improving figures

The report showed that the average time spent gambling rose from 1.2 hours to 2.7 hours. The average budget for gambling during a trip to Las Vegas in 2019 was $591.06, compared to $527.05 the previous year. 

There are also fewer tourists coming with children, meaning there is more of an emphasis on adult pursuits. Reflecting this trend, the Circa Resort and Casino, which will open in downtown Las Vegas in October, will only be admitting people who are at least 21 years old. Previous attempts at adults-only properties in Las Vegas have not been successful. 

Visitor satisfaction was 99%

Spending in Las Vegas was greater across the board in most categories in 2019; total direct visitor spending was $34.5bn. Visitor satisfaction was 99%, rising from 98% the previous year. The main complaint among visitors was that they were in the city for too short of a time, followed by the cost of the visit. 

Inside the report

The Visitor Profile allows resorts to gauge what their visitors want to experience.

The survey is conducted each year with the help of GLS Research, a San Francisco-based firm. GLS randomly selects 3,600 Las Vegas visitors, polling 300 people in person each month.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the visitor surveys are suspended for the moment. Casinos in Nevada have been open since June 4, but with extensive health and safety protocols in place, interviews would be difficult to conduct while practicing proper social distancing. Travel restrictions are also leading to lower numbers of tourists, naturally hitting casinos hard financially.

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